In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we’re checking in with a collector in his mid-twenties hailing from Australia. This luxury lover began loving bags at an early age, inheriting his passion for designer bags from his mother, who lent him a Louis Vuitton bag of hers when he was just 12. From there this passionate collector became truly obsessed, and these days his wants are carefully thought-out, resulting in a streamlined collection of pieces he truly loves.
Throughout the installment, our confessor gives us a deep, candid look into his love for luxury bags, starting from the beginning and ending with the realities of loving bags through a pandemic. Overall this confessor’s attitude towards bags and shopping is both relatable, but unique to him. He believes that life is short, and you should buy the bag if you truly want it! Read the full CC now and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Male
Location: Perth, Australia
Occupation: Student / Waiter
Household Income: $200,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 11
What bags are in your collection?
How much is your collection worth? $20,000 (a rough estimate minus the Hermès).
What is your most expensive bag? Most likely my Dior’s as I purchased both of them retail (plus a mark up as I purchased them through a personal shopper), closely followed by my Puzzle Bag (also purchased retail) a lot of my other bags listed were purchased preloved or given to me as hand me downs or gifts.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection?
Louis Vuitton Speedy 40 Bandouliere – my first designer bag that I purchased with my own money when I was 21. It is severely beat up now after a solid 5 years of use, but I still reach for the bag a good few times a week (mainly as my gym bag) – I love how the patina on the handles are a dark brown with stains all over the Vachetta – not the prettiest bag, but the number of memories I have with that bag when I took it traveling, to uni, to my first corporate job, etc., etc.
Louis Vuitton Porte Document Voyage PM – my dad purchased this bag for me when I graduated university (the first time). I remember when I was still studying and we were in vacation in Singapore and we were in the Marina Bay Maison he said he would buy me my first ‘briefcase’ when I graduated university. When I finally graduated, and reminded him of his promise to me years ago, he reluctantly agreed. I remember I spent weeks researching the perfect silhouette, leather, etc., etc. before purchasing the bag. I don’t really use it now as my lifestyle has shifted but I will never sell it for the sentimental value.
Dior Mini Saddle Bag – This bag is sentimental for all the wrong reasons. I purchased this in 2020, through a personal shopper (as at the time Dior did not have an online store for the Australian market, they now do and my bank account is in trouble!), however it was in the height of the pandemic, and I was in a very dark place due to my job at the time (toxic work environment, workplace bullying, and the list goes on) and I remember I had been obsessing over the bag for the longest time – even after the whole social media blitz of the bag’s relaunch, even though for years I hated it, but one day a switch had suddenly flipped in my head and I was obsessed with the bag! I was feeling really down with work and I needed a pick me up, so I decided to reach out to my personal shopper to source the bag for me. I paid for the bag, and the day after payment went through and I was at work, I got retrenched at this job I hated so much (because they weren’t making enough revenue due to the pandemic, and frankly they couldn’t afford me any more) – and I decided to go through with the purchase. I was now unemployed and just dropped $4k+ plus on a bag that couldn’t even fit my phone. I thought it was so frivolous of me and utterly stupid, but I was in such a bad mental state the thought of it to me (spending all this money on a bag, freshly unemployed) was hilarious and it just sparked joy in such a weird twisted manner… Anyways, this bag now reminds me that life is too short to dedicate your life to work, and that you should treat yourself responsibly, but sometimes it’s ok to let go a bit and do something crazy!
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? When I was 12 my mum gave me her LV Trocadero to use. If memory serves me right she purchased the bag in the early 90’s and other than the sticky pockets, the bag is still functional and I still take it out now and again. And 20, my first designer bag that I purchased myself is my LV Speedy 40 (as mentioned above).
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I have a whole list of bags that I wish to purchase hahah! I have definitely not achieved ‘purse peace’ but I definitely have my sights set on a Fendi Baguette, the Gucci x Globe Trotter Beauty Case, the Petite Malle, Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie, and the list goes on and on… we could be here for days for me to go over every single bag I want to purchase!
I actually have a dedicated document on my Notes app where I document all the bags I currently own, and also bags I wish to purchase. Bags on my wishlist that don’t get culled are usually the ones I end up purchasing because I obsess over said bags/items on my wishlist for months, or even years before I pull the trigger.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? As mentioned above specifically – but I guess all of my bags hold a sentimental value in some way, shape or form.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Definitely – It isn’t that common in the city I live in for guys to love or appreciate fashion, and it’s even rarer to see a guy toting a designer bag for all occasions (although now it is slowly changing, but for ages I felt like I was one of the few guys who liked to tote around a bag). For years I was made fun of by other guys who would question why I would spend thousands on a bag, and hundreds more on SLG’s but it is simply just something the sparks joy for me. On the flip side, I have had women admire my bags, and I remember once a woman serving me at the local ice cream parlour wanted to trade a ice cream cone for my Speedy (which I kindly refused, but thanked her for the compliment and offer).
Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Yes, I have started to carry smaller and smaller bags because I don’t need to carry everything and the kitchen sink with me anymore. Also probably because I no longer work in a corporate job I don’t need to lug around my laptop, iPad, gym gear, lunch, everyday essentials one carries in their bag, etc. with me all the time. I just carry the essentials now, and it’s pointless carrying a massive bag for just a few small items.
How often do you buy new bags? When I was working a corporate job, I would purchase around 3 – 4 bags a year, however, since going back to studying and having a small casual hospitality job, I have since purchased 1 bag for the entire year of 2021.
Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Well, COVID has definitely changed my life overall, thus it has changed my shopping habits simply because I have less disposable income. However, my overall attitude towards luxury hasn’t changed – just simply look at my wishlist…it’s only bags – we haven’t even delved into clothing, shoes, and watches (and also a $50 million 5th Ave townhouse I would simply love to acquire, but alas).
Which stores do you frequent the most? I don’t really frequent any stores anymore as I simply purchase everything online, even if it is luxury (and available within Australia). If not, I would just go through a personal shopper to source the item for me.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Of course I do! I simply don’t understand some people who look down on buying preloved – so many of my bags were purchased preloved in excellent condition, and I have saved a ton of money on them – this also extends to designer clothes as well. In terms of websites I guess it’s the usual: eBay, Vestiare Collective, The RealReal, Fashionphile, Grailed, Depop and the like.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I consider every single bag purchase I make and once I purchase a bag, it will be with me for life, or until it falls apart, whichever one comes first. I do however sell my unworn designer clothing, Grailed for high-end designers (like Balenciaga, Vetements, Gucci, Balmain, Fendi, etc.) and Depop for my contemporary designer clothing or fast fashion items (think Zara, H&M, etc.).
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not really, I really do like to go with the beat of my own drum. Like I have always said to my friends I don’t follow trends, but instead I like to incorporate trends into my ‘core style’. This extends to bags too. I very often purchase things AFTER the hype has died down – like my Dior Mini Saddle Bag. When it came out, the marketing campaign was used as a case study at uni (my background is in Marketing and PR), and I distinctly remember that I despised the silhouette of the bag. Back in the day, my mum had an OG Saddle Bag and I remember always making comments about how ugly that bag was. Like I said, one day a switch flipped in my head (around 2019) and I was simply obsessed with the bag. I didn’t pull the trigger until about a year later – to this day I still love my Saddle bag and I do like to take it out in my rotation, even though the hype around the bag has died down significantly. I don’t really like to follow influencers, and passively follow the latest bag releases (mainly on here) – most of the bags I like err towards the classic side and run a low risk of being discontinued, or that I can snap one up preloved at a bargain price (and better quality).
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I don’t consider my bag purchases investments as they are simply material items. I don’t like to buy my bags for the sole purpose of resell. However, we can also interpret it in another manner of cost per wear, and in that instance, I definitely do treat it as an investment from that perspective. For each and every single bag I purchase I think long and hard about… such as what am I using this bag for, what function will it serve, is it easy to style with my existing wardrobe. An example of this could be most of my LV bags, are utilitarian bags (albeit bougie utilitarian bags), that were purchased when I had a corporate job ergo a lot of them are suited for the office – and for the time when I was working in the office, a lot of them were put through the paces and I have certainly gotten my cost per wear out of them.
Who influences your buying decisions? If I boil it down, I would say what I see on social media influences me and informs me of the existence of said item (let’s be real it’s tPF I am talking about), however at the end of the day I let my obsession with a said bag or item simmer in the back of my mind for a while. If I am constantly doing research on the bag, watching reviews, what fits inside, and styling videos, looking on preloved websites for ‘x’ period of time, and after stewing for a hot minute or so, and I am still obsessed with the bag or item, I will consider purchasing it – permitted that I have the finances for it.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Only if you are looking for the hyped items that are hard to get. However, in this day and age there are a myriad of ways to get one’s desired item, and nobody deserves to be put through hoops of fire simply to be given the opportunity to purchase an item they might not even like, just for the sake of it – yes Hermès I am looking at you, and no I will not succumb to your games of getting my dream Birkin and Kelly.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? Upon reflection, I think deep down the reason why I enjoy shopping so much is the thrill of searching for a specific item, then finding the one once with the lowest price, but is still at an acceptable condition, then waiting for it to arrive, and once it arrives you rip open the box and catch the first whiff of its smell (whether it be brand new or preloved) and joy it gives you at that very moment…Geez upon reading this I really do think I am a shopaholic to some extent… who gets THIS excited over shopping!?!
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Chanel. I don’t know why it’s always Chanel, as I have always observed people IRL and also on tPF complaining about the bad service one receives at a Chanel boutique. This happened a couple months ago when my friend and I decided to go shopping (after a big night out) and she wanted to purchase a pair of Chanel dad sandals. That girl was willing to drop $2k+ on a pair of god-awful dad sandals, as she easily could have gotten a pair for way cheaper elsewhere, but she had her eyes set on a pair of Chanel dad sandals. We looked like two people that were clearly hungover, and we walked into the boutique hoping to find the sandals she wanted. We waited inside for a good half an hour and in that time only one SA briefly acknowledged us, and we gave up waiting – she ended up purchasing a YSL Sunset Boulevard Bag and also a pair of Bottega heeled sandals instead (at a local multi-brand boutique down the road) – if anyone was wondering. We now laugh at it now, and at the time we were really tempted to pull a Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman moment, walking in with the shopping bags to somewhat prove we were serious, but alas – I was hungry and tired and didn’t want to go back in there in my state. However, this shows to never judge a book by its cover, and that everyone should be treated equally, whether they be wearing couture or looked like they were dragged out of the sewers – one just never knows when another is about to splash some cash around.
Who pays for your bags? I would love to say I have a sugar daddy who would shower me with gifts, but the reality is it’s mainly me, unless it is a present (like a graduation or something).
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No. I do have a savings account, and a general expenses account. I normally set a threshold as to how much I am willing to let my savings drop to i.e. say I have $25k in my savings, I would not let it drop below $20k, meaning I have $5k to spend. In a normal world $5k is a lot of spending money, however as we all know $5k can only get you only so far in the luxury world. This was back when I had a corporate job, and I had a steady flow of income. As of right now, I am focusing on saving, and only splurging on special occasions like my birthday or Christmas. I may be in hospitality right now, but it doesn’t mean I cannot treat myself once in a while! If there is anything COVID has taught me, is that life is too short to not do things that make you happy!
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I have been tempted, but at the end of the day, I just feel so ashamed to display them with my other bags, or even use them in public. I don’t care if others are fooled, but deep down I know they aren’t real and I simply just can’t get past it.
I have seen and held counterfeit LV bags, and believe me it is actually shocking to know that the stitching and alignment on these counterfeit bags are actually BETTER than the real deal! But no, I will not be swayed.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I may or may not get my parcels sent to my local gym and then sneak them back home (as I live with my parents still).
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Wish I could provide you with a crazy story, but I am pretty vanilla here – I purchase my bags the good old fashion way: with my hard-earned money and my tax returns.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Not really. As evidenced above, yes I do love to shop, and I have a passion for it, but the pragmatic side of me holds me back and reigns me in, and grounds me.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I do love F45 (F45 peeps if you see this I am plugging you in a bag confessional, can I get my free towel now?), and I do love to go out to eat and go bar-hopping with friends and go to festivals and the like, and of course traveling, but I haven’t really been able to do that ever since the pandemic hit… another thing this pandemic has made me realize is that a lot of the things that I enjoy often involve spending a lot of money, and going forward I really need to find a hobby that doesn’t involve spending money – any suggestions?
Anything else you would like to include? Shopping can be fun, and the thrill of the chase can be addictive. However, it is VERY important for people to know their limits, and to not purchase items beyond their means. This goes without saying, if you enjoy bags, and they make you happy, don’t let anyone question your passion, and dissuade you from purchasing your dream bag (of course within your means). Life is too short to not live your life to the fullest, and if it means you must have that bag in your life, go ahead and purchase it when you can. However, at the end of the day, all of this is just material possessions and one must prioritize their health and happiness over everything. If you aren’t happy and healthy, you cannot enjoy your passions, and if you cannot enjoy your passions, you are miserable – don’t let the judgments and thoughts of other people control your life. Do you, and hold your head up high whilst doing it, because you will always look better doing things confidently!